‘‘First, we overlook evil. Then we permit evil. Then we legalize evil. Then we promote evil. Then celebrate evil. Then we persecute those who still call it evil’’ (Anonymous).
The level of immorality in our society has reached a crescendo whereby anti-social behaviors are the order of the day amongst our teeming youths. The situation of immorality is alarming such that youths of today don’t see anything wrong in their uncouth behaviours. In fact, the abnormalities have become the norm and normal thing is now seen as abnormal. I will quickly cast our minds back to the early 80s where morals were still seen and celebrated in our daily lives, today, no more dignity in labour, the get rich quick syndrome amongst our youths of today is worrisome as some parents are culpable. Recently there was a judgement against a mother who helped her son to launder money. She bagged 5 years jail term.
What is Moral Decadence?
Moral decadence in reference to Oxford Advance English Dictionary ‘’ Is falling to the low level of sound morality’’. Hence moral decadence is a situation whereby someone passes from a state of goodness to a lower state by losing qualities, which are considered normal, ethical and desirable
It can be basically defined as a high reduction in the moral values in a particular society. It is a colossal collapse or deterioration in upholding and abiding by our societal values, ethics and norms. It is a decline and decay in the moral values of individuals and society at large.
There are various forms of moral decadence in Nigeria and causes which includes social vices like cultism, examination malpractice, fraud, the popular one amongst the youths is the internet fraud known “yahoo yahoo and yahoo plus” drug abuse etc. some causes of moral decadence are poor and terrible upbringing, religion now seen as a financial hub, decline in religious training, peer pressure, broken homes, the rate of divorce is alarming especially amongst youths. Emphasis on materialism, moral laxity and the wrong use social mass media.
What are the causes of moral decadence?
The causes are somehow debate table but its effect are far reaching. While issues like ignorance and youthful exuberance maybe considered as likely excuses for poor moral standard, but like the saying goes “there is no ignorance in law”. So whatever wrong you do, you will definitely be accountable both in this world and hereafter. Also, poverty and socio-economic status, and lastly which I believe is the most important and lacking in our society is the fear of Almighty Allah. Now if majority of us have the fear of Almighty Allah, so many things in the country will be done rightly and we would have less vices and criminals.
The fear of Almighty Allah is practically not in existence any more, the youths would point accusing fingers to the leaders, the so called leaders will turn against the youths that they lack morals, parents have also abandoned their parental duties to their children such that parents now wait on their children to fend for the family, I mean underage children, teachers/lecturers sees students as source of income while government officials no longer uphold work ethics, private sector are busy ripping off innocent customers, commercial and private car owners brakes traffic laws with impunity total breakdown of law and order in the society.
Islam has laid down some universal fundamental rights for humanity as whole which are to be observed and respected under all circumstances. Islam equally set standard for us to coexist harmoniously.
Allah swt has said in the Quran, 2:177- it is not righteousness that we turn your faces towards East or West; but it is righteousness to believe in Allah and Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers’ spend of your substance out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves, to be steadfast in prayers and give Zakat, to fulfill the contracts which ye have made and to be firm and patient in pain( or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the God-fearing.
What are the Islamic moral values?
Collectively morality is expressed in the Quran in such terms as equality, justice, fairness, brotherhood, mercy, compassion, kindness (to people and animals), charity, forgiveness, honesty, patience, respecting parents and elders, keeping promises and controlling one’s anger. Islam also commands love-love of God and those God loves, love of his Messenger (Muhammad, S.A.W) and of believers.
Solution to moral decadence.
1, ALLAH-CONSCIOUSNESS
The Quran mentions it as the highest quality of a Muslim:
The most honourable among you in the sight of Allah SWT is the one who is most conscious of Allah, the one who fears Allah the most.
2, See the Rasul as your role model of excellence, Allah said in Q33:22 “verily, you have in the Prophet of Allah an excellent model
3, Exhorting good people to prevent moral decadence with love, wisdom and compassion:
Q3:105 “ let there be among you a group of people who should invite to goodness, and enjoin equity and forbid evil.
4, Parents should understand and uphold their duties towards their children and children should likewise learn to trust and obey the judgement of their parents.
5, Our governments must stand on their toes and religious bodies must be up and doing. The government should also introduce children welfare department and reintroduce moral education in our curriculum

Conclusively upholding moral standards in any sane clime or society is the duty of every citizen in that society, both young and old, the leaders and the led, parents and children, teachers/lecturers and students, security agencies religious bodies etc., we all have a role to play in making the society a much better place.

– Ismail A. Ogunbambi